The name is taken from the name of a well-known African-American science fiction writer.
NASA announced informally that it would redesign the Mars rover’s landing site inside Jezero Crater on Friday (5/3/2201).
Butler is the first African-American woman to win a Hugo and Nebula award, and the first overall science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship.
Died in 2006, his most popular works include the Kindred stories, Bloodchild, Speech Sounds, Parable of the Sower, Parable of the Talents, and the Patternist series.
“Butler’s work explores the theme of race, gender equality in humanity, centering on the experiences of black women at a time when such things were largely absent from science fiction,” said Katie Stack Morgan, deputy scientist for the Perseverance project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Morgan adds that Butler’s main character embodies determination and inventiveness, making him a perfect fit for the Perseverance rover and its theme of overcoming obstacles.
“Butler inspired and influenced the scientific community, planets, and more. The fact that his work is still relevant today is testament to his vision, genius and immortality,” Morgan added. Space.com, Tuesday (9/3/2021).
NASA has long practiced informal naming of landmarks on Mars and other locations.
Although these names are not recognized by the International Astronomical Union, they appear in scientific papers.